Battle Quills... ready! Circulation: 150,952,996 Issue: 232 | 24th day of Running, Y8
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Deserts and Desserts: A Gargarox Isafuhlarg Story - Part Two

by darkerstrife


"So, you mean to tell me that we've spent the last few hours... in a giant PIE?" questioned Grondule.

      "It's not a giant pie... Well, not really," said Gargarox.

      "I think I know what he means," said Rexen. "We weren't teleported to some faraway planet. We were shrunk... and somehow transported to Grundos Cafe."

      "I think I understand..." added Grondule. "And right now, it appears that we're standing on the counter in the middle of the cafe. But we're only a few micrometers tall." The green Grundo examined his arms and legs.

      "Well, this is awful!" said Yazer. "We can't spend the rest of our lives as micro-organisms! How are we going to get big again?"

      "We can't," announced a far-off voice. Gargarox and the four Grundos looked towards the opposite end of the counter. A group of about seven orange Grundos were standing in front of a giant cupcake, and they were walking towards them.

      "You guys were shrunk too?" asked Poyo.

      "Yeah," replied one of the orange Grundos.

      "We've been stuck here for days," said another orangey. "A lot of people who've come into the cafe have mistaken us for bugs. We tried to tell Gargarox what happened while he was still big," the Grundo pointed a finger at the Grundo Chef, "but now, he's tiny as well."

      "So my kitchen wasn't infested with bugs," said Gargarox, worried. "It was infested with microscopic Grundos!"

      "Uh oh!" interjected Poyo. "I hope none of them got smushed..."

      "Okay... uhh, this is awkward..." Gargarox scratched the back of his neck. "I'm sorry for trying to swat you guys... you know, when I was big..."

      "It's okay," said an orange Grundo. "Right now, we just need to figure out how ALL of us can get big again... before that Virtupets exterminator arrives."

      "Exterminator? What exterminator?" said Rexen.

      A wave of guilt and fear immediately drowned Gargarox. He just HAD to call an exterminator, didn't he? And a Virtupets one at that... Nonetheless, if they couldn't find a way to un-shrink themselves, that very exterminator would arrive and... well... Gargarox didn't even want to think about what would happen to them. It would probably involve some butter knives and a can of Bug-B-Gone.

      "How long do we have until the exterminator arrives?" Yazer asked Gargarox.

      "When I called, they said he'd be here by 11:00," said Gargarox. He pointed to a clock on a distant wall of the cafe. "It's 10:48 Neopian Standard Time, so we have about 12 minutes left."

      "If we don't get big by then, we'll all be as flat as Salisbury Steaks," added Rexen.

      "Well then, what are we waiting for?" asked an orange Grundo.

      "All right, let's get moving," said Gargarox. He and the other Grundos began to walk towards the giant cupcake.

      Suddenly, all thirteen Grundos heard a deep, sinister, metallic voice behind them. "Just where do you think YOU'RE going?" it said.

      As soon as the man's voice filled their eardrums, all of the Grundos cowardly ran behind Gargarox. The muscular, green Grundo Chef turned around and glared at the intruder.

      It was the evil Sloth clone, who was standing right below the giant orange pie. By the looks of it, he had shrunk himself as well.

      "You again??" said Gargarox, surprised. "What are you doing here?"

      The clone did not respond. His lifeless red eyes were fixed on the Grundos. Whatever he was about to do, it would NOT be a pleasant thing.

      "It's... S-S-S-Sloth!" whimpered an orange Grundo, his eyes swimming with fear.

      "Calm down," assured Gargarox. "It's not the real Sloth; it's just a clone."

      "My body may be composed of bolts and wires..." announced the clone, "but I'm just as cunning, and just as dangerous as the actual Dr. Frank Sloth."

      The clone pulled out a Virtublaster and fired a yellow beam of light at the cluster of Grundos. Except for Gargarox, who ducked to avoid the laser, they immediately scattered in different directions. The beam left a small hole in the giant cupcake behind them.

      "Hey! Leave these guys alone!" snapped Gargarox. "They didn't do anything to you!"

      "I can zap who I want, when I want." The clone stomped forwards a few steps, his metal feet clanking against the surface of the counter.

      "Why are you doing this?" questioned Gargarox, backing away. The Grundos behind him were sitting on the ground, too nervous to move. "Why, of all the places, would you want to invade my kitchen?"

      Robot Sloth cackled darkly. "It's simple, really. We've been having difficulties ever since the Grundo race was freed from Sloth's grasp. We figured that as a suitable punishment for their disobedience, they shall be executed in the most diabolical way possible- by shrinking them... with this device."

      The clone pulled something out of his metal stomach. It was the same silver-colored remote that he used to shrink Gargarox. The Grundo Chef clenched his teeth in anger, and he tightened his fists.

      "Walking into my kitchen without permission is one thing..." said Gargarox under his breath, "but when you insult my species... that's the last straw!"

      Gargarox raised his metal spatula in the air, and lunged at the Sloth clone. He tackled the clone to the ground and bashed his head several times with the spatula. Robot Sloth concentrated all of his energy into his hydraulic arms, and shoved Gargarox into the air.

      Gargarox's body slammed into the white frosting of the giant cupcake. His body peeled off the cupcake's surface, and he landed stomach-first onto the counter in a frosty mess, barely able to move.

      "Why must you Grundos be so persistent?" taunted the clone.

      Just then, everyone heard a loud pounding noise coming from the front door of Grundos Cafe.

      "Hello? Anybody there? This is the exterminator."

      The Grundos gasped in horror.

      "You see? You're already too late," the clone announced confidently. "In the end, you will always bow down to creatures who are more powerful than you, because you are simply too weak. Hah hah hah..."

      As the clone started to laugh, something jumped onto his shoulders and began to pull on his metallic hair strands. It was Grondule.

      "Rrrgh, THIS is for trying to enslave me!" the little green Grundo snarled with anger, pounding on the clone's head like a drum. The clone ran around in circles, waving his arms.

      The other Grundos, who were watching the scene, immediately seized the opportunity, and began to grab hold of the struggling clone. Within seconds, the robotic Sloth fell to the ground, his entire body covered by the furious Grundos.

      Rexen had managed to steal the Sloth clone's remote control. He hopped out of the pile of Grundos and examined the remote, trying to figure out how to use it.

     * * *

      Meanwhile, the front door of the cafe crept open. The exterminator was a green Blumaroo dressed in a baggy, brown-colored uniform with the Virtupets emblem on the chest. He was carrying a bag full of chemicals on his back. He looked around the room, trying to see if anybody was there; he was completely unaware of the microscopic battle in the center of the cafe.

     * * *

      "Let's see..." beads of sweat rolled down Rexen's face. "How do I make us big again..."

      Suddenly, all of the Grundos that were wrestling with the Sloth clone screamed in shock as they were all tossed into the air at the same time. Pulses of electricity began to flow through the clone's body, and several wires were sticking out of him. He was badly damaged, but his eyes still beamed with red anger.

      Rexen yelped as robot Sloth lunged at him and grabbed his throat with his cold, green hand. The remote control fell back onto the counter. Rexen tried desperately to break free from the clone's grip, but failed.

      "Quit struggling, and accept the inevitable," said the clone, his red eyes flickering. His head was tilted to the side, and only a few small wires kept it from falling off his neck. "You are doomed."

      "Think again, you bag of bolts!"

      A metal spatula slammed into the Sloth clone so hard that his head fell off. It rolled around momentarily, and dropped off the counter, crashing into the floor below.

      The rest of the clone's body tipped over and made contact with the counter's surface, shattering into dozens of pieces and freeing Rexen from the clone's grip.

      "Thanks, Gargarox!" Rexen raised his thumb towards the heroic chef.

      "No problem! Now get that remote!" replied Gargarox.

     * * *

      Meanwhile, the exterminator slowly examined the empty cafe (at least, it appeared empty to him).

      "I wonder where the chef is..." he asked himself. Just then, he spotted something on the counter in the middle of the cafe. He walked towards it.

      The Blumaroo glanced down, and he noticed a bunch of dots next to a cupcake, squirming around like bugs.

      "This must be the infestation he was talking about..." muttered the exterminator. He pulled a can of bug spray out of his backpack and aimed it at the counter.

      But before he could squeeze the can, the entire room began to flash.

      "Aaah! What's going on!?" yelled the Blumaroo, trying to shield his eyes from the intense light. There was a loud bang!, and the glow faded away.

      The Blumaroo rubbed his eyes and opened them, and he spotted something unusual. A few seconds ago, the cafe was empty, wasn't it? Now, there were about thirteen Grundos lying on the counter in a large pile. Even stranger, there was a pile of black-colored metal beside the counter, as well as some glasses, plates, pies, and cupcakes that had spilled onto the ground.

      One by one, the Grundos and Gargarox got to their feet, stumbling around the room and holding their foreheads in dizziness.

      "Uhh... Where did all you guys come from?" asked the Blumaroo, his jaw agape.

      "It's a long story..." replied Gargarox. He walked in front of the Blumaroo, "but basically, I don't have a bug infestation anymore."

      "Yeah... I noticed," the exterminator rolled his eyes.

      "That... was... awesome!" shouted Poyo as he jumped into a chair. "Let's do that again!"

      "Umm, how about we don't?" said Grondule.

      "Well anyway," said an orange Grundo. He walked up to Gargarox with the rest of the orange Grundos. "We'd like to thank you for helping us."

      "You're welcome," said the proud chef.

      "Umm, excuse me?" said the exterminator, tapping Gargarox's massive shoulder. He turned around.

      "In case you've forgotten, it took me five hours to get here. I still expect to be paid."

      "Oh yeah, that... well..." Gargarox scratched his head, thinking of something he could do. "Ah!" he raised his index finger. "How about, after I clean up this mess, we all sit down and have lunch together? For free!"

      "Well... I AM pretty hungry..." said the exterminator. "Ah, what the heck. Count me in!" the Blumaroo took off his backpack.

      "I'm hungry too!" said Yazer.

      "Me too!" said Rexen.

      "And I'm thirsty!" added Grondule.

      The other Grundos basically shouted the same demands.

      "All right then..." Gargarox rubbed his hands together as he marched triumphantly to the center of the cafe. He plucked the broken head of the evil Sloth clone out of the pile of metal, and raised it over a trash can.

      "To all Grundos, everywhere!"

      The moment he let go of the clone's head, it dropped into the trash can, and every Grundo in the room (and the exterminator) clapped their hands together.

      "Now, who's up for some Beef Rouladen?" Gargarox smirked.

     * * *

      Somewhere outside of the Virtupets Space Station...

      "Why do you disturb me?" proclaimed a deep voice. The sinister man was sitting comfortably in the ruby red leather of his seat, staring out into the blanket of space.

      "Sir..." said a nervous, brown-colored Grundo, clad in a Virtupets uniform. "You know that... shrinking program you started?"

      "Go on..."

      "Well, ummm... You see... there's been a... disturbance. And... uh, well... Evil Sloth Clone #320... He's been... destroyed."

      The chair at the front end of the room immediately rotated 180 degrees. The villain's eyes glared menacingly at the little Grundo. "WHAT!?" he shouted.

The End

Author's Note: This is my first big story for the Neopian Times, and I hope you enjoyed reading it. ^_^ I'd also like to thank azellica for her guidance and advice during the development of the story. As always, comments are appreciated.

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